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Computer Sciences, Electrical and electronic engineering, Applied mechanics, Aerospace engineering
In any sounding rocket, volume and mass are at a premium. Payload designers strive towards smaller, lighter and cheaper mechanisms which can achieve the same goals. This project aims to reduce the mass and volume for probe deployment booms and their deployment mechanisms. An experiment (Telescobe) to test a low cost novel method of boom deployment using telescopic carbon fibre poles was developed. A custom camera measurement system was also developed to measure boom length and harmonic deflection. This experiment was flown onboard the REXUS 9 sounding rocket  in February 2011 from Esrange space centre, Sweden. The experiment functioned as expected in all pre-flight tests. However, an unexpected malfunction in the experiment hatch door was experienced during flight which prevented the boom from being extended through the hatch. Despite this, it was found that the carbon fibre sections, all mechanisms and hardware, survived the flight and functioned as expected as far as possible. It is hoped that with a redesigned hatch, the experiment can be relaunched onboard a future REXUS rocket.
Wylie, M., Keegan, J., & Curran, S. (2011). Deployment and Characterisation of a Telescopic Boom for Sounding Rockets. 20th ESA Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and Related Research (PAC). Hyeres, France. doi:10.21427/e5ep-6b70
European Space Agency (ESA), Swedish National Space Board (SNSB), German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) & Enterprise Ireland